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of our mathematics to calculate if Napoleon had been
shot in his youth or Hitler had failed in January, 1933-
1$. this sense history is like life and every individual
should be aware that it does really matter to the world
what decision he makes on a given issue here and now*

Now, this attitude to the study of the past, if it is not
to some degree the effect of our traditions—our Christian
civilisation, with its high view of personality—is
particularly congenial to those traditions and particularly
appropriate for the Christian, It implies a telling of the
story which has the effect of doing justice to freedom
as well as necessity, and in which the spiritual (as well as
the material) is organic to the theme—not a mere added
ornament. It is typified in the flexibility of narrative,
and is to be contrasted with the kind of history which
sets out rather to schematise the centuries or turn
everything into a process. The traditional historian
has shown an interest in individuals for their own sake,
and in a bygone generation as an end in itself, which we
in our civilisation have perhaps too easily taken for
granted. It is possible that a grossly materialistic
civilisation, too intent upon utilitarian purposes, would
not see the point of these things and would not produce
the kind of fabric that we call history. The Christian
must defend it however; for this is a kind of history in
which—in a certain sense at least—personalities are the
irreducible things.

Our traditional historical writing has gone further
than this. It has refused to be satisfied with any merely
casual or stand-offish attitude towards the personalities
of the past. It does not treat them as mere things, or

H.H.R.                                    I4J                                            K